Torque Shop

Would cars with 48-volt systems pose any problem when it comes to jumpstarting? For instance, would a regular car be able to jumpstart one of these cars or, for that matter, those with 24-or 12-volt "mild hybrid" systems?

First, let us look at non-hybrid cars with the 48-volt feature. Auto manufacturers introduced such a system because a higher voltage supply makes possible the use of devices to drive high-power motors with sufficient torque to power various components such as active suspension pumps and actuators.

If a car incorporates "mild hybrid" technology, it means an electric motor provides some degree of drive assistance or engine restart when coasting or at a momentary standstill.

The common feature in the above mentioned systems is that a separate lithium-ion battery provides the electrical energy.

The conventional automotive electrics is based on a 12-volt set-up as it has been for decades. This set-up is still based on a lead-acid battery, which powers things such as lights, wipers, audio and ignition.

The primary 12-volt circuit is completely separate from the lithium-ion network. So, jumpstarting these new-fangled cars as with any other car is still feasible and safe.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe